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Thursday’s Sports Minute

Thursday’s Sports Minute

PLAY BALL!: San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pitches during the eighth inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Associated Press/Charlie Neibergall

In addition to the Royals win to even the World Series 1-1 and the NBA draft lottery, here is a look at the other big sports stories making headlines today, Thursday, Oct. 23.

Record low TV viewership

Didn’t stay up for Game One of the World Series? Don’t worry. You were hardly alone.

The World Series opener involving the San Francisco Giants set a record low TV rating for the second time in three seasons.

According to fast national ratings by Nielsen Media Research, San Francisco’s 7-1 win over Kansas City drew a 7.3 rating and 12.2 million viewers Tuesday night on Fox.

That broke the previous low of a 7.6 rating and 12.2 million for the Giants’ 8-3 victory over Detroit in 2012.

Padres sack another hitting coach

Phil Plantier is the latest hitting coach to be fired by the San Diego Padres, dismissed after three years on the job.

The Padres hit .226 last year, worst in the big leagues. They were hitting .210 on June 30.

Plantier had been the sixth hitting coach since the Padres began playing in spacious Petco Park in 2004.

NHL game postponed because of shootings

Wednesday’s shootings in Ottawa led the National Hockey League to postpone the Senators’ game against the visiting Maple Leafs. The NHL said the date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced at a later date.

A gunman shot and killed a Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country’s capital, then entered Parliament, where dozens of shots rang out, according to police and witnesses. The gunman was later killed.

The Pittsburgh Penguins played “O Canada” before their game against Philadelphia in tribute to the soldier, corporal Nathan Cirillo . A sell-out crowd belted out the Canadian national anthem as the Canadian flag was flashed on the scoreboard and projected onto the ice.

The Flyers were the winners in Pittsburgh as R.J. Umberger and Matt Read scored two minutes apart in the third period of a 5-3 triumph over the Penguins. Umberger and Sean Couturier each finished with a goal and an assist.

Caps’ Erskine has back surgery

Capitals defenseman John Erskine has had surgery to repair a disk in his neck. The team says Erskine is scheduled to start his rehabilitation program in the next few weeks.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman has not appeared in a game this season.

Academic fraud found at North Carolina

An investigation released Wednesday says the scale of an academic scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was far more widespread than previously reported. The investigation says the scandal included about 1,500 athletes who got easy A’s and B’s over a span of nearly two decades. Most of the athletes involved were football players or members of the school’s cherished basketball program.

The report says about 3,100 students enrolled in classes they didn’t have to show up for in what was deemed a “shadow curriculum” within the former African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department from 1993 to 2011. Nearly half of those students were athletes.

The NCAA reopened an academic-misconduct probe at UNC in June because new information was available. The new investigation said it was done in cooperation with the NCAA.

Arbiter says Goodell should testify in Rice appeal

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could participate in Ray Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension.

A person familiar with the case has told The Associated Press that an arbiter has ruled that Goodell should testify. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the appeal have not been made public.

Since this isn’t a criminal case, it’s uncertain whether Goodell will actually testify in a private arbitration.

Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 and released by the Baltimore Ravens for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a video of Rice hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator was released publicly. Goodell originally had suspended the running back for two games, and the players’ union argues that Rice should not be punished twice.

Judge will stay on Peterson case

A prosecution request to remove the judge handling the felony child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has been denied.

Montgomery County state District Judge Kelly Case will remain on the case following a recusal hearing on Wednesday in suburban Houston. Retired Tarrant County District Judge Jeff Walker denied a request by prosecutors, who had accused Case of being biased against them.

Peterson is charged with injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. He is on paid leave and Case has set a tentative trial date of Dec. 1.

RG3 may play

Redskins’ coach Jay Gruden says there’s a chance that injured starting quarterback Robert Griffin III might be able to play in Monday night’s game with Dallas. For now, Colt McCoy will start the game but Gruden says Griffin is a “wild card.”

Gruden says Griffin still needs to be cleared for full contact and satisfy the coaches that he’s ready in order to play.

Walden fined

Colts linebacker Erik Walden has been fined $27,562 after being ejected for making contact with an official during Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati. Walden says he was trying to move around umpire Bruce Stritesky and that he didn’t mean to bump into him.

Georgia hopes to get running back cleared to play

Georgia was expected to file a request with the NCAA for tailback Todd Gurley’s eligibility to be reinstated. The SEC’s leading rusher has been suspended for the last two games while Georgia investigated allegations he broke NCAA rules by receiving improper benefits. Georgia said in the statement released this morning it “hopes for and expects” a prompt ruling by the NCAA, although it is unclear if the university has filed the request.

Halep hammers Williams

Serena Williams has suffered one of the most lopsided losses in her career as she was routed 6-0, 6-2 by Simona Halep at the WTA Finals in Singapore. The last time Williams, who has won 18 Grand Slam tournaments, managed to win just two games in a WTA Tour or Grand Slam match was in 1998 when she was 16.

The loss in the round-robin match snapped Williams’ 16-match winning streak at the year-end championships, where she is the two-time defending champion.

Williams calls the one-sided loss to Halep “very embarrassing.”

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